We have been confined to our homes since March 2020, but when The Leela Palace New Delhi’s Bengali food fête beckoned, we couldn’t resist! We visited The Qube, got ourselves some quintessential regional delicacies, shared a moment of nostalgia with the talented team of chefs, and we felt safe. It was a perfect Pujo afternoon. If you want to treat yourself to mouth-watering signature Bengali dishes, head to The Qube today because this exclusive fiesta will be running until October 30! Text and Photographs by Priyanka Chakrabarti

The Leela Palace New Delhi
The Qube, The Leela Palace New Delhi’s all-day diner

Shaptami afternoon calls for piping hot cholar dal and luchi, and that’s exactly what we were served at The Qube, The Leela Palace New Delhi’s all-day diner.

The Leela Palace New Delhi
Delectable starters at The Qube

Titled aptly as ‘Celebrate the victory of food over evil’ – the chef’s special Bengali menu had signature festive dishes that will take anyone on a reminiscent culinary journey. From beetroot chops (fried beetroot cutlets) to posto bora (pan-fried poppy seed and onion galette); dimer devil (lamb mince coated eggs) to Ilish machher paturi (mustard and chilli marinated hilsa, steamed in a banana leaf), and murgir chop (crumb fried chicken cutlet)—their handpicked starters took us back to our childhood days, where pujo meant running around on pandal grounds, buying these delicacies from food counters run by home chefs, and of course, fighting for that last bite!

The Leela Palace New Delhi
Festive spread at The Qube

For the main course, we got ourselves some hot, fluffy luchis (fried puffed bread made of refined flour) and koraishutir kochuri (fried bread stuffed with green peas and asafoetida) with a generous serving of cholar dal that was beautifully alleviated with extra coconut crumbs.

The Leela Palace New Delhi
Chutneys and Kasundi

The quintessential home-style maccher jhol with eggplant served along with a bed of amply fragrant Gobindobhog rice, and the classic shukto (mixed vegetables and bitter gourd curry) was the favourite part of our meal. These dishes are staples in any Bengali household, and when we asked Executive Chef Ashish Bhasin how does he recreate the magic of nostalgia in his dishes, he said, “I believe, happy hearts make happy meals.”

The Leela Palace New Delhi
Nolen gurer ice cream

Moving on to the usual must-haves, they have kosha mangsho (lamb braised with onions and aromatic spices), chingri malai curry (prawns simmered in coconut milk), murg rezala (chicken cooked with yoghurt, poppy seed and cashew nuts), and more on their limited-edition menu.

The Leela Palace New Delhi
Dessert platter

Last but not the least, no Bengali festive meal can conclude without a lavish spread of sweet treats. We pampered our palates with a bowl of mishit doi (caramelised sweet yoghurt), Nolen gurer ice cream (ice cream flavoured with date palm jaggery) and a nice and soft Lyangcha (fried cottage cheese croquette poached in sugar syrup).

The Leela Palace New Delhi
The Qube, The Leela Palace New Delhi

The most important part about this post-lockdown luncheon was the safety aspect. With LEELA SURAKSHA in place – the property’s hygiene and cleaning protocols have been amped up to ensure every guest’s safety. Overall, we had a great lunch and we felt safe.

Where: The Qube, The Leela Palace New Delhi. Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110023

When: Until Oct 30 (12:30 hrs to 23:30 hrs)

Reservation: 011-39331350; +91 9560093764

Related: Rajasthan’s Pink City To Get Rosier With A Revamped Leela Palace Hotel In Jaipur